the weblog of Alan Knox

Problems with Questions

Posted by on Jun 17, 2010 in blog links | 5 comments

Problems with Questions

So, my friend Eric at “A Pilgrim’s Progress” says we should “Keep Asking Questions.” (And, I can talk about him now, because according to his blog he’s out of town.)

But, I’ve found that it’s difficult to ask questions. I mean, it’s not difficult for me to ask question. But, sometimes, it’s difficult to ask questions to other people without them creating false dichotomies.

Let me give you some examples.

When I ask if the church should meet for worship or for edification, it’s sometimes assumed that I don’t think Christians should worship. Why is that?

When I question the validity of the modern day office of pastor, people often ask me why I don’t like leaders. Why?

When I ask why we put so much emphasis on the sermon (i.e., a unidirectional monologue), I’m occasionally asked why I don’t appreciate Scripture. Are they the same?

So, I think asking questions is very good. But, when you’re asking questions, sometimes your questions are misunderstood.


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  1. 6-17-2010

    You forgot the big one. If you question church traditions people ask why you hate the church.

  2. 6-17-2010


    Yes, that is a big one… and a common one.


  3. 6-17-2010


    I think Eric has hit the nail on the head. It’s because of fellows like he and you, Arthur, and quite a few others, that many are encouraged regarding life in the family of God.

    As to “creating false dichotomies”, with many, and maybe most, I’m convinced it is mostly an avoidance mechanism. They simply have no answers, and, perish the thought that there may even be answers.

    I mean, only a moron would ask questions which challenge sacrosanct tradition!

  4. 6-18-2010

    Boy could I ramble on about this topic. Over the last few years I’ve learned first-hand how threatening questions can be in regards to ones spirituality and beliefs (the traditional/biblical role of pastor being the latest).

    I believe that one of the biggest hindrances is our inability to remove our personal connections and preferences. For example, “I like church and my pastor is a nice guy, so therefore I will not even look into the possibility of anything being wrong within the institution that is organized religion.” Unless one is willing to set aside personal interests, abandoning all to allow God to define what is right, offense is sure.

    Sadly, many would rather not discuss their views and how they stand beside God’s Word. It would seem that some would rather blatantly ignore even the possibility of being found in error than explore what they believe and why. The Body absolutely must forsake Her own desires and preferences and ask questions if She’s ever to mature together in unity.

  5. 6-18-2010

    Aussie John,

    “Avoidance mechanism”? Could be. That gives me something to think about. 🙂


    Yes, I’ve noticed that you’re tackling some of these questions (and answers) on your blog. I’ve enjoyed them greatly!